Text: H.R.6655 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 112-275 (01/14/2013)




[112th Congress Public Law 275]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



[[Page 2459]]

                      PROTECT OUR KIDS ACT OF 2012

[[Page 126 STAT. 2460]]

Public Law 112-275
112th Congress

                                 An Act


 
      To establish a commission to develop a national strategy and 
 recommendations for reducing fatalities resulting from child abuse and 
            neglect. <<NOTE: Jan. 14, 2013 -  [H.R. 6655]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Protect our Kids 
Act of 2012. 42 USC 1305 note.>> 
SECTION 1. COMMISSION.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Protect our Kids Act of 2012''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that--
            (1) deaths from child abuse and neglect are preventable;
            (2) deaths from child abuse and neglect are significantly 
        underreported and there is no national standard for reporting 
        such deaths;
            (3) according to the Child Maltreatment Report of 2011, in 
        fiscal year 2011, 1,545 children in the United States are 
        reported to have died from child abuse and neglect, and many 
        experts believe that the actual number may be significantly 
        more;
            (4) over 42 percent of the number of children in the United 
        States who die from abuse are under the age of 1, and almost 82 
        percent are under the age of 4;
            (5) of the children who died in fiscal year 2011, 70 percent 
        suffered neglect either exclusively or in combination with 
        another maltreatment type and 48 percent suffered physical abuse 
        either exclusively or in combination;
            (6) increased understanding of deaths from child abuse and 
        neglect can lead to improvement in agency systems and practices 
        to protect children and prevent child abuse and neglect; and
            (7) Congress in recent years has taken a number of steps to 
        reduce child fatalities from abuse and neglect, such as--
                    (A) providing States with flexibility through the 
                Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act 
                of 2011 to operate child welfare demonstration projects 
                to test services focused on preventing abuse and neglect 
                and ensuring that children remain safely in their own 
                homes;
                    (B) providing funding through the Child and Family 
                Services Improvement Act of 2006 for services and 
                activities to enhance the safety of children who are at 
                risk of being placed in foster care as a result of a 
                parent's substance abuse;
                    (C) providing funding through the Fostering 
                Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 
                2008

[[Page 126 STAT. 2461]]

                for grants to facilitate activities such as family group 
                decisionmaking meetings and residential family treatment 
                programs to support parents in caring for their 
                children; and
                    (D) requiring States through the Child and Family 
                Services Improvement and Innovation Act of 2011 to 
                describe how they will improve the quality of data 
                collected on fatalities from child abuse and neglect.
SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSION.

    (a) Establishment.--There is established the Commission to Eliminate 
Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (in this Act referred to as the 
``Commission'').
    (b) Membership.--
            (1) Composition.--
                    (A) <<NOTE: Appointments.>>  Members.--The 
                Commission shall be composed of 12 members, of whom--
                          (i) <<NOTE: President.>>  6 shall be appointed 
                      by the President;
                          (ii) 2 shall be appointed by the Speaker of 
                      the House of Representatives;
                          (iii) 1 shall be appointed by the minority 
                      leader of the House of Representatives;
                          (iv) 2 shall be appointed by the majority 
                      leader of the Senate; and
                          (v) 1 shall be appointed by the minority 
                      leader of the Senate.
                    (B) Qualifications.--Each member appointed under 
                subparagraph (A) shall have experience in one or more of 
                the following areas:
                          (i) child welfare administration;
                          (ii) child welfare research;
                          (iii) child development;
                          (iv) legislation, including legislation 
                      involving child welfare matters;
                          (v) trauma and crisis intervention;
                          (vi) pediatrics;
                          (vii) psychology and mental health;
                          (viii) emergency medicine;
                          (ix) forensic pathology or medical 
                      investigation of injury and fatality;
                          (x) social work with field experience;
                          (xi) academia at an institution of higher 
                      education, as that term is defined in section 101 
                      of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 
                      1001), with a focus on one or more of the other 
                      areas listed under this subparagraph;
                          (xii) law enforcement, with experience 
                      handling child abuse and neglect matters;
                          (xiii) civil law, with experience handling 
                      child abuse and neglect matters;
                          (xiv) criminal law, with experience handling 
                      child abuse and neglect matters;
                          (xv) substance abuse treatment;
                          (xvi) education at an elementary school or 
                      secondary school, as those terms are defined in 
                      section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary 
                      Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801);

[[Page 126 STAT. 2462]]

                          (xvii) epidemiology; and
                          (xviii) computer science or software 
                      engineering with a background in interoperability 
                      standards.
                    (C) <<NOTE: President. Congress.>>  Diversity of 
                qualifications.--In making appointments to the 
                Commission under subparagraph (A), the President and the 
                congressional leaders shall make every effort to select 
                individuals whose qualifications are not already 
                represented by other members of the Commission.
            (2) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Date.--The appointments of the 
        members of the Commission shall be made not later than 90 days 
        after the date of enactment of this Act.

    (c) Period of Appointment; Vacancies.--Members shall be appointed 
for the life of the Commission. Any vacancy in the Commission shall not 
affect its powers, but shall be filled in the same manner as the 
original appointment.
    (d) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Initial Meeting.--Not later than 60 days 
after the date on which a majority of the members of the Commission have 
been appointed, the Commission shall hold its first meeting.

    (e) Meetings.--The Commission shall meet at the call of the 
Chairperson.
    (f) Quorum.--A majority of the members of the Commission shall 
constitute a quorum, but a lesser number of members may hold hearings.
    (g) <<NOTE: President.>>  Chairperson.--The President shall select a 
Chairperson for the Commission from among its members.
SEC. 4. DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION.

    (a) Study.--
            (1) In general.--The Commission shall conduct a thorough 
        study on the use of child protective services and child welfare 
        services funded under title IV and subtitle A of title XX of the 
        Social Security Act to reduce fatalities from child abuse and 
        neglect.
            (2) Matters studied.--The matters studied by the Commission 
        shall include--
                    (A) the effectiveness of the services described in 
                paragraph (1) and best practices in preventing child and 
                youth fatalities that are intentionally caused or that 
                occur due to negligence, neglect, or a failure to 
                exercise proper care;
                    (B) the effectiveness of Federal, State, and local 
                policies and systems within such services aimed at 
                collecting accurate, uniform data on child fatalities in 
                a coordinated fashion, including the identification of 
                the most and least effective policies and systems in 
                practice;
                    (C) the current (as of the date of the study) 
                barriers to preventing fatalities from child abuse and 
                neglect, and how to improve efficiency to improve child 
                welfare outcomes;
                    (D) trends in demographic and other risk factors 
                that are predictive of or correlated with child 
                maltreatment, such as age of the child, child behavior, 
                family structure, parental stress, and poverty;
                    (E) methods of prioritizing child abuse and neglect 
                prevention within such services for families with the 
                highest need; and

[[Page 126 STAT. 2463]]

                    (F) methods of improving data collection and 
                utilization, such as increasing interoperability among 
                State and local and other data systems.
            (3) <<NOTE: Review.>>  Materials studied.--The Commission 
        shall review--
                    (A) all current (as of the date of the study) 
                research and documentation, including the National 
                Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being and research 
                and recommendations from the Government Accountability 
                Office, to identify lessons, solutions, and needed 
                improvements related to reducing fatalities from child 
                abuse and neglect; and
                    (B) recommendations from the Advisory Board on Child 
                Abuse and Neglect.

    (b) Coordination.--The Commission shall provide opportunities for 
graduate and doctoral students to coordinate research with the 
Commission.
    (c) Recommendations.--The Commission shall--
            (1) develop recommendations to reduce fatalities from child 
        abuse and neglect for Federal, State, and local agencies, and 
        private sector and nonprofit organizations, including 
        recommendations to implement a comprehensive national strategy 
        for such purpose; and
            (2) <<NOTE: Guidelines.>>  develop guidelines for the type 
        of information that should be tracked to improve interventions 
        to prevent fatalities from child abuse and neglect.

    (d) Report.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 2 years after the date on 
        which a majority of the members of the Commission have been 
        appointed, the Commission shall submit a report to the President 
        and Congress, which shall contain a detailed statement of the 
        findings and conclusions of the Commission, together with its 
        recommendations for such legislation and administrative actions 
        as it considers appropriate.
            (2) Extension.--The President may extend the date on which 
        the report described in paragraph (1) shall be submitted by an 
        additional 1 year.
            (3) <<NOTE: Public information. Web posting.>>  Online 
        access.--The Commission shall make the report under paragraph 
        (1) available on the publicly available Internet Web site of the 
        Department of Health and Human Services.
SEC. 5. POWERS OF THE COMMISSION.

    (a) Hearings.--
            (1) In general.--The Commission may hold such hearings, sit 
        and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and 
        receive such evidence as the Commission considers advisable to 
        carry out this Act.
            (2) Location.--The location of hearings under paragraph (1) 
        shall include--
                    (A) areas with high fatality rates from child abuse 
                and neglect; and
                    (B) areas that have shown a decrease in fatalities 
                from child abuse and neglect.
            (3) Subject.--The Commission shall hold hearings under 
        paragraph (1)--
                    (A) to examine the Federal, State, and local 
                policies and available resources that affect fatalities 
                from child abuse and neglect; and

[[Page 126 STAT. 2464]]

                    (B) to explore the matters studied under section 
                4(a)(2).

    (b) Information From Federal Agencies.--The Commission may secure 
directly from any Federal department or agency such information as the 
Commission considers necessary to carry out this Act. Upon request of 
the Chairperson of the Commission, the head of such department or agency 
shall furnish such information to the Commission.
    (c) Postal Services.--The Commission may use the United States mails 
in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments 
and agencies of the Federal Government.
    (d) Gifts.--The Commission may accept, use, and dispose of gifts or 
donations of services or property.
SEC. 6. COMMISSION PERSONNEL MATTERS.

    (a) Travel Expenses.--The members of the Commission shall be allowed 
travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates 
authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of 
title 5, United States Code, while away from their homes or regular 
places of business in the performance of services for the Commission.
    (b) Staff.--
            (1) In general.--The Chairperson of the Commission may, 
        without regard to the civil service laws and regulations, 
        appoint and terminate an executive director and such other 
        additional personnel as may be necessary to enable the 
        Commission to perform its duties. The employment of an executive 
        director shall be subject to confirmation by the Commission.
            (2) Compensation.--The Chairperson of the Commission may fix 
        the compensation of the executive director and other personnel 
        without regard to chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of 
        title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of 
        positions and General Schedule pay rates, except that the rate 
        of pay for the executive director and other personnel may not 
        exceed the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule 
        under section 5316 of such title.

    (c) Detail of Government Employees.--At the discretion of the 
relevant agency, any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the 
Commission without reimbursement, and such detail shall be without 
interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.
    (d) Procurement of Temporary and Intermittent Services.--The 
Chairperson of the Commission may procure temporary and intermittent 
services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates 
for individuals that do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual 
rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under 
section 5316 of such title.
SEC. 7. TERMINATION OF THE COMMISSION.

    The Commission shall terminate on the earlier of--
            (1) the 30th day after the date on which the Commission 
        submits its report under section 4(d); or
            (2) the date that is 3 years after the initial meeting under 
        section 3(d).
SEC. 8. FEDERAL AGENCY RESPONSE.

    Not <<NOTE: Deadline. Reports.>> later than 6 months after the 
submission of the report required under section 4(d), any Federal agency 
that is affected

[[Page 126 STAT. 2465]]

by a recommendation described in the report shall submit to Congress a 
report containing the response of the Federal agency to the 
recommendation and the plans of the Federal agency to address the 
recommendation.
SEC. 9. ADJUSTMENT TO THE TANF CONTINGENCY FUND FOR STATE WELFARE 
                    PROGRAMS.

    (a) In General.--Section 403(b)(2) of the Social Security Act (42 
U.S.C. 603(b)(2)) is amended by striking ``for fiscal years 2011 and 
2012'' and all that follows through the end of the paragraph and 
inserting ``for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 such sums as are necessary 
for payment to the Fund in a total amount not to exceed $612,000,000 for 
each fiscal year, of which $2,000,000 shall be reserved for carrying out 
the activities of the commission established by the Protect our Kids Act 
of 2012 to reduce fatalities resulting from child abuse and neglect.''
    (b) Prevention of Duplicate Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2013.--
Expenditures made pursuant to section 148 of the Continuing 
Appropriations Resolution, 2013, for fiscal year 2013, shall be charged 
to the applicable appropriation provided by the amendments made by this 
section for such fiscal year.

    Approved January 14, 2013.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 6655:
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CONGRESSIONAL RECORD:
                                                        Vol. 158 (2012):
                                    Dec. 19, considered and passed 
                                        House.
                                                        Vol. 158 (2013):
                                    Jan. 2, considered and passed 
                                        Senate.

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